Do you remember those awful group projects in school? Ya, the ones where a lot of the time you were stuck doing most of the work because others weren’t pulling their weight or because there was poor planning. Unfortunately, you may find yourself in the same situation, 20 years later in a different environment, this time with fellow employees.
What is collaboration in the workplace? Collaboration in the workplace is when team members and departments work together in accomplishing a project. Successful collaboration occurs when teams are highly efficient and are able to combine individual skill sets in achieving a common goal.
In the workplace, collaboration comes in many different forms — business meetings, presentations, and content editing with colleagues. Some can argue it may be no different, however, here are some collaboration tips and ideas that can make collaboration in the workplace run a lot smoother.
5 Ideas for Collaboration in the Workplace
- Good Communication: Set goals and communicate expectations. When starting on a new project, there should be clear and concise objectives that must be accomplished. Brainstorming sessions should be held often to ensure that everyone on your team understands the goals and are on the same page. Good communication can help lead to better ideas, clarify any misunderstandings, and hit project deadlines on time. Be sure to be open-minded about critique and when you are challenged on your ideas. Sharing concepts can help open your mind to other points of view.
- Outline a Timeline: Schedule check-in meetings to make sure your projects are on time and all team members understand their contribution and targets they have to hit. Having a timeline when working collaboratively on long projects is crucial, so be sure to set up check-in meetings at least once a week.
- Acknowledgement of Team Members: Remember to give credit where credit is due when working collaboratively, whether it’s a good idea contribution, hard work, or good constructive criticism. It creates a better work environment when praise is given and when team members feel appreciated and valued. Be sure not to overstep or micromanage your team members, which can cause friction and can send a clear message that you do not trust them to do their job. This can be detrimental when you are trying to foster a collaborative workplace.
- Visually Identify a Process: Many people think and communicate at a visual level, whether they realize it or not. Visuals are a great way to aid in strategic planning and thinking (and did you know visuals are scientifically proven to be up to 6 times more effective than words alone?)
- Leverage Each Team Member’s Expertise: Everyone has their own strength and weaknesses when it comes to work – some are planners, creative thinkers, and others number crunchers. Collaborating in the workplace means bringing team members strengths to the forefront to make something better than someone could do alone.
Bluescape visual collaboration software can help your company collaborate better and more efficiently by outlining your projects and goals and keeping them all in one digital workspace — where team members can access at anytime, minimizing the lost in translation at any moment.
Bluescape enables companies to innovate, collaborate, and work faster and more efficiently. Its workspace collaboration solution gives dispersed internal and external teams an interactive digital workspace to meet, share, develop, and iterate on content, ideas, and products. Founded in 2012, Bluescape is headquartered in San Carlos, California and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Haworth. Visit Bluescape and follow Bluescape on social media — Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.